No LSAT? No Problem

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No LSAT? No Problem

 

Want to go to law school? Want to skip the Law School Admissions Test? The University of Arizona’s Rogers College of Law is the place for you. Effective immediately — and for the first time ever — a law school will accept GRE scores in lieu of LSAT scores. Arizona College of Law Dean Marc Miller told The National Law Journal the decision came to “reach a broader pool of would-be applicants.”

“The fundamental impetus for this comes from the desire to put together the best and most diverse class we can,” Miller told The National Law Journal.

The decision was made after the Educational Testing Services, the organization that administers the GRE, produced a study that claimed a GRE score and undergraduate GPA were just as good of indicators of law school success as the LSAT and an undergraduate GPA. A spokeswoman for the Law School Admissions Council, which administers the LSAT, declined to respond to The National Law Journal saying the LSAC has not had time to review the study yet.

The American Bar Association states that schools can use any entrance test as long as they can prove the exam is “valid and reliable” for admissions decisions. Loyola University Chicago School of Law Dean David Yellen told The National Law Journal that he expects other law schools to follow if Arizona can indeed bring in a stronger and more diverse class. He added that if Arizona is successful with the test, it will “potentially be a major change in legal education,” with other schools also adopting the test alternative.

The study conducted by the Educational Testing Service looked at 100 current students and recent graduates of Arizona Law that took the GRE in November. The researchers concluded the GRE did slightly better than the LSAT in predicting first-year grades of law students. According to The National Law Journal, similar studies are being conducted at law schools at Wake Forest University and the University of Hawai’i.

Of course, the GRE has plenty of logistical advantages for applicants. For one, it is offered pretty much anytime an applicant wants to take it. Further, it’s computerized, so applicants know their scores immediately and can react with either beginning applications or signing up to take it again for a higher score. As a result, the consequences are low if something goes wrong the day of the test.

“By using the GRE test, which is accepted by thousands of graduate and professional degree programs, from biochemistry to public policy and philosophy, we are able to consider qualified candidates from more diverse backgrounds,” Miller told The National Law Journal.

Source: The National Law Journal

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